SWANA-LA

SWANA-LA

https://www.facebook.com/pg/swanalosangeles

Contact: [email protected]


SWANA-LA (Southwest Asian & North Afrikan - Los Angeles) is a collective of people advocating for our communities on a local and global scale **About Us** The inception of the [former] SWANA Coalition occurred at the Students of Color Conference in 2012 at the University of California, Riverside. The term “SWANA” was explained by a group of UC Berkeley students who distinguished the region in geographical terms, rather than “political terms” as defined by the Western world. In addition, the term has been officially adopted by the University of California. SWANA-LA was formed in Spring 2014 and seeks to create a bridge between different communities and serve as an organized base for cross-SWANA issue-based campaigns. The Iraq situation was a catalyst for SWANA-LA’s first campaign; the collective will be pursuing causes as they pertain to the SWANA-LA mission. **Community Agreements** ● Our collective is inclusive of all regardless of gender identity, gender expression, ethnicity, spiritual beliefs, religious sects, race, sexualities, class, differently-abled individuals, age, and all identities. ● We have a zero tolerance for hate speech ● We do not agree with colonialism, including Zionism, racism, ethnocentrism, ultranationalism, cultural erasure, cultural appropriation, xenophobia, homophobia, anti-Black racism, Islamophobia, transphobia, pink-washing, heteronormativity, anti-Semitism, anti-immigrant sentiment, genocide denial, police brutality, the prison industrial complex, etc. ● We are pro-migrant communities and advocates for the decolonization of the construct of white race. ● We recognize that we are on indigenous land. This privilege is at the expense of indigenous populations who suffered as a result of colonization. ● We recognize when someone is taking up too much space and recognize when someone is shying away from stating their opinion(s) ● We aim to learn from and teach one another - which requires listening… a lot of listening ● Vegas Rule: What’s Said Here Stays Here, What’s Learned Here Leaves Here: In creating these agreements we work under the assumption that there may be very contentious conversation and that individuals may end up sharing a lot about themselves or their ideals that they otherwise wouldn’t feel safe sharing in other spaces. This being the case, what’s said in the space is to remain confidential. But the core values and lessons we learn in the space are to leave the space in order to further perpetuate an atmosphere of understanding, respect, etc. **Iraq Campaign** ● We support: ○ The people of Iraq’s right to live without fear and oppression ○ The people of Iraq’s right to freedom and self-determination* ● We oppose: ○ Any foreign military intervention** ○ Any foreign military aid including monetary aid to I.S.I.S./I.S.I.L. ○ I.S.I.S./I.S.I.L. ○ The promotion of sectarianism within the Iraqi government ● Foreign intervention** will escalate violence ● Historically, foreign intervention* in Iraq has only led to fulfilling the interests of the foreign entities rather than the Iraqi*** people themselves *Self-determination is defined as the people’s right to determine and define their statehood and forming their own government, the right of the people to choose their own place, and the freedom to make their own decisions **foreign intervention meaning state government involvement ***Iraqi refers to anyone who lives in Iraq or whose family originates from Iraq including but not limited to: Arabs, Assyrians/Chaldeans, Kurds, Armenians, Turkmen, people of Afrikan descent, and Circassians. Our mission is to advocate for our [Southwest Asian & North Afrikan - SWANA] communities on both a local and global scale. We are a group committed to promoting progressive, conscious, political, and cultural ideals through educational events, action-oriented campaigns, and healing spaces. We are in solidarity with all oppressed peoples. Our collective is geared towards those of SWANA background.

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